Two posts almost back to back, I’m sorry about that – it is not my intention to fill your inbox with e-mail notifications. The reason for the quick follow up post is to give you the link for a video I made of my apartment in the Nambu Dong (district) of Busan.
Before I get to that I’d like to tell you a little about the awesomeness of the 6th grade classes at Daechun Elementary. I don’t mean awesome in the ‘yeah! They are so interested in my lesson, they are so engaged and attentive and willing to participate’ kinda of way – because they are not. What I mean is that they are hilarious little short stacks that have picked the funniest darn names for themselves. That’s right – the English teacher who teaches them 3 times a week has allowed them to pick English nicknames – and their selections have been nothing short of brilliant.
There are a couple of standards: Larry, Jerry and Paul are common. Then there are the slightly amusing ones, which are mostly normal names but mis-spelled: Christal, Juley, Laven (Which I think is short-form for Lavender?). Then we get into the awesome names (I made a list of some of the best ones in class today, allow me to refer to it): Zombie, Obama, Protoss, Zombie 2 (seriously), Edge, Rabbit, Terran, Zombie 3 (I’m not kidding, there are 3 kids named Zombie so they each took a number), Bush, John Cena, Luxury –
I could go on.
I’m actually pretty excited about these names because it gives me a bit of insight into the kids’ personalities. For instance, around the time I told Edge and John Cena to stop whispering to Undertaker I realized that working some pro-wrestlers into my lessons might help keep focus in that class. Likewise, references to Starcraft and other videogames might help keep Terran and Protoss in line.
I don’t intend to suddenly change topics halfway through a blog entry (Actually thats exactly what I intend) but I want to tell you a little bit about an adventure I undertook over the weekend:
I persuaded a few EPIK teachers to join me for a walk to a park near my apartment called Igidae Park. I really had no idea what to expect and I applaud my friends for joining me despite the lack of details. The trip to Igidae actually ended up being really nice. We found the park (I acted very confident that I knew where it was, but in all honesty I just knew I had to head south and hope I saw signs) and followed a trail which led onto a forested hill. Up we went and after a short walk (maybe 10-20 minutes) we came to an outdoor exercise area near the summit. Chin-up bars, dumbells, bench press – even hoola hoops were free to use for anyone willing to make the trek up the hill. We rested briefly then pushed on for the summit which not only offered awesome views of the city and ocean, but also another outdoor gym (I won’t say it took away from the beauty of the hilltop and our sense of discovery and accomplishment…..but it did). Then we followed the trail down to the shore where we walked back towards the city at the base of the hills we had just climbed. This shoreside path offered more great views of the city, as well as old bunkers and lookout pillboxes that (we assumed) were constructed during world war two. Less than an hour on this path and we were back in the bustle of the city – we realized we were thirsty and headed immediately for beverages (you can guess of what nature) and BBQ.
I found it was a great little excursion and, even though it is surrounded by the city, a quiet piece of nature. The best part about Igidae park, for me at least, is that it is a 20 minute walk from my house. I foresee myself spending lots of time here either exercising or just grabbing a book and a beer or two and getting away from the city.
Korean people like to describe their country as ‘dynamic’ – In fact, you can see the words ‘Dynamic Busan’ on bus shelters, boardwalks and taxi cabs all over the city….. I think I’m beginning to understand the meaning behind the slogan.
Check out a video of my apartment here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Tiddlywinkers88
Its not an exact link – having an issue with my account. Just click the video called The Apartment!
Thats all for now BNBers